Multiple Research Methods for Evidence Generation

This chapter describes tools for researchers to address the tasks of problem definition, measurement, causal processes, and generalization. We begin with an extended example of developing practice-based evidence in community-based youth justice organizations in New York City.

The Second American Crime Drop

Are today’s violent crime rates different from the rates of 30 years ago? Do trends in serious and violent crime by juveniles (under age 18) differ from trends among older youth (i.e., young adults ages 18-24), and how much of the overall crime decline that began in the 1990s can be attributed to juvenies and older youth?

History of Substance Abuse Treatment

Henninger, Alana and Hung-En Sung (2014). History of substance abuse treatment. In Gerben Bruinsma and David Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, pp. 2257-2269. New York: Springer. Forensic science may reasonably be viewed as having played an important role in the professionalization of policing that began in the late nineteenth century. While there are histories of forensic science (generally written by practitioners) and histories of forensic medicine, expert witnesses, and the professionalization of policing (generally written by historians), the intersection of these developments remains underexplored.

Current Practice in the Juvenile Justice System

Butts, Jeffrey [committee member] with Simon Singer (2013).  Current Practice in the Juvenile Justice System (Chapter 3, pp. 49-88). In Reforming Juvenile Justice: A Developmental Approach. Richard J. Bonnie, Robert L. Johnson, Betty M. Chemers, and Julie A. Schuck (Editors). Washington, DC: National Research Council of the National Academies. Report in Brief Juvenile justice is a highly varied process that is shaped by law and driven by local practice. Youth coming into the justice system— usually after an arrest by law enforcement— are screened and assessed by various organizations and individuals. The charges against them are reviewed for legal sufficiency, and…

Read More

Reducing the Risks and Consequences of Crime Victimization in Schools

Butts, Jeffrey, Douglas Evans, and Jocelyn Fontaine (2013). Reducing the Risks and Consequences of Crime Victimization in Schools. In Victims of Crime. Robert C. Davis, Arthur J. Lurigio, and Susan Herman (Editors), Fourth Edition. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc. Recent surveys of school administrators and students indicate that school crime is falling in the United States. In 2009-2010, the rate of victimization among students was half what it had been in the 1990s. Still, three quarters of all schools that year reported at least one violent incident in which a student was the victim of a criminal act. Some…

Read More

Mail Survey in Social Research

Alana Henninger and Hung-En Sung (2012). Mail Survey in Social Research, in Lior Gideon (Editor), Handbook of Survey Methodology for the Social Sciences, pp. 297-311. New York: Springer. This chapter begins with a concise overview of the long history of the use of mail survey in the Western civilization. Then it examines the three main stages in the administration of mail survey: pre-notification, the survey packet, and the follow-up correspondence. The design of the basic components such as the outer envelope, the cover letter, the questionnaire, the return of the survey, and the assembly of the survey packet is discussed…

Read More

Pushing Back the Frontiers of Knowledge on Desistance from Crime: Current and Future Directions

Kazemian, Lila (2012). Pushing back the frontiers of knowledge on desistance from crime: Current and future directions. In Rolf Loeber and Brandon C. Welsh (Eds.), The Future of Criminology (pp. 134-140). New York: Oxford University Press. This chapter summarizes current knowledge about desistance, the study of which has moved from event to process analyses based on a combination of social and cognitive factors. It argues that future research needs to integrate better several criminal career parameters, including desistance in frequency, seriousness, and versatility, and involve multiple outcomes such as improvements in mental and physical health and substance use. It also…

Read More

Better Research for Better Policies

Butts, Jeffrey A. and John Roman (2011). Better Research for Better Policies, in Juvenile Justice: Advancing Research, Policy, and Practice. Sherman, Francine and Francine Jacobs (Editors). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. To do their jobs effectively, policymakers, professionals, and community partners must be able to access high-quality information about the impact of policies and programs for youth. Recent years have seen an increasing, and appropriate, focus on evidence-based policy. In setting priorities for funding and support, intervention programs demonstrated to be effective and efficient are preferred over programs that are well intentioned but untested by rigorous evaluation. An evidence-based…

Read More